Have you ever heard how important it is to eat multiple colored fruits and vegetables? If the answer is yes, then you’ve also heard that color difference in the fruits and vegetables indicates different antioxidants in the foods. Therefore, it’s important to vary your consumption of fruits and vegetables in each color in order to maximize the nutritional benefits. It is a known fact that antioxidants fight free radicals, help to protect us from diseases like cancer, visual impairment and even brain function. In the following article, you will learn about the mechanism of antioxidants and free radicals, and why consuming various colored fruits and vegetables is so important for our health.
What are antioxidants and free radicals?
Antioxidants are the “good soldiers” that fight harmful substances, called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemical substances, and as such tend to “attack” other substances in the body and may even produce a chain reaction that causes a lot of damage.
For these reasons, fruits and vegetables should be part of our daily diet. Since different fruit and vegetable color indicates a “different type of solider” in the fight against free radicals, it is recommended to consume antioxidants in the following 5 colors:
(Red Raspberries, Watermelon, Strawberries, Cranberries, Red Apples, Beets, Red Beans, Sweet Cherries, Fresh Tomato, Kidney Beans, Red Cabbage…)
Fruit and vegetable with red color contain ingredients as lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin and hesperidin. These ingredients act preventively against the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce the growth of existing tumors and LDL cholesterol. Fight free radicals and in cases of arthritis provide support in joint mobility.
2.) Orange and yellow
(Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Papayas, Yellow Apples, Sweet Corn, Yellow Peppers, Golden Kiwifruit…)
Fruit with these two colors contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, vitamin C and potassium. These ingredients reduce eye problems in aging, risk of prostate cancer, lower the blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, stimulate formation of collagen, provides healthy and mobile joints as well. Due to the large amount of powerful antioxidants, they also deal with free radicals and premature aging successfully, maintain alkaline state of the body, and also support successful combination of calcium and magnesium in the health “construction” of bones and teeth.
(Kale, Spinach, Melon, Kiwifruit, Green peas, Broccoli, Cabbage, Leafy Greens, Lettuce, Asparagus, Celery, Green Grapes, Green Onion…)
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Ingredients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risk, purify blood simulating blood transfusion, reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, also normalize digestion time of food, support eyesight and put the immune system in full activity.
(Bananas, Ginger, Garlic, Mushrooms, Onions, White Corn, White Peaches, Potatoes, Jicama, Parsnips…)
These fruit and vegetables contain ingredients like beta-glucan EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), SDG (Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) and lignin which provide powerful immune system support. These ingredients also activate the natural destroyers for all substances dangerous for our body, B and Tcells, reduce the risk of colon cancer (the most common cancer in men), breast cancer and prostate. They help balancing levels of various hormones and more important, reduce the risk of hormone-related tumors.
5.) Purple and blue
(Dried Plums, Grapes, Pomegranates, Purple Cabbage, Purple Grapes, Purple peppers, Raisins, Eggplant, Black Currant, Blackberries, Blueberries…)
Fruit and vegetable with this color contain ingredients like lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. These ingredients help maintaining healthy vision, reduce LDL cholesterol, maintain the highest level of defense of the immune system, help normal digestion, improve absorbing calcium and other minerals, fight inflammation, inhibit growth of existing tumors but also have anti-cancer affect in digestive tract and limit the activity of cancer cells.
So next time when you think about the word “rainbow”, don’t think about the colorful arch in the sky (although it is beautiful). Think about a rainbow of antioxidants for a great health!
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